Bill C-16, An Act to amend the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code, was passed into law by the Parliament of Canada in June 2017. This law amends the Criminal Code and the Canadian Human Rights Act to add gender identity and gender expression to the list of prohibited grounds of discrimination. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has stated that “refusing to refer to a trans person by their chosen name and a personal pronoun that matches their gender identity, or purposely misgendering, will likely be discrimination when it takes place in a social area covered by the Code, including employment, housing and services like education.“ As gender identity legislation and policies are being instituted across Canada, there are concerns that freedom of expression rights could be impeded by Bill C-16 and similar provincial statutes across Canada.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms asks students at Canadian colleges universities to answer (in 2500 words or less) the following question:
Should Canadians be required by law to use gender-neutral pronouns? Why or why not?
How to Apply
This contest is open to all students enrolled at a Canadian post-secondary institution.
The essay should not exceed 2,500 words. Please submit your essay in PDF or Word format using the form below, or email it to email@example.com. Quality of writing and persuasiveness of argument will be the central criteria considered by the judges.